So Lucky

Jill Robbins essays

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My children are adopted from China. We draw some stares when we’re out and about, mostly because my kids are really cute, but also because it’s pretty obvious my husband and I are…well, not Chinese. I don’t always like the attention, but I kind of understand it. Our family looks a little different and people are curious about our story.

Sometimes this curiosity brings negativity. Often, questions and comments about our multiracial family or nosy or ignorant. One comment that I’ve always been over sensitive about is “they’re so lucky.”

My husband and I don’t see our adoptions as a good deed and we certainly don’t want our children to be placed in the position where they’re encouraged to see it this way, either. While I can list 101 reasons they are lucky to have such a cool mom (I’m only kidding a little bit), it makes me sad when we call a child “lucky” because they have a family, food in their bellies and someone to kiss them goodnight.  I don’t want my boys to grow up believing they should be grateful that their mother and father love them.

I recently met a Chinese man who congratulated me on giving my kids a home. This made me feel awkward. I didn’t want accolades for wanting to be a mom. But what he said next was not awkward: “Your love has changed these children’s destiny.”

These were powerful words and true ones. But, the other side of this coin is that loving these children has changed my destiny.    

It still bothers me when someone makes the “they’re so lucky” comment. But, it’s complicated.   

Click here to read more on adoption by Jill Robbins.


About the Author

Jill Robbins

Jill Robbins writes about adoption, motherhood and midlife on her blog, . She has a degree in social psychology that she uses to try and make sense out of the behavior of her husband and three children but it hasn't really helped so far. Her work has been featured on The Washington Post, Babble, Blunt Moms, In the Powder Room, The Huffington Post and others. You can also find her in the December '14 print issue of Mamalode. Hang out with Jill on and .

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